It’s been a big year for Big Stories: we’ve run four residencies in Australia and one over in Papua, we’ve met a truckload of brilliant people and shared some of their incredible stories. The past few weeks, though, there’s been a few hiccups in our end-of-a-good-year bliss.
As a digital media project, we do love our technology. Big Stories was founded as a way of leveling the digital playing field, to give people from rural and remote areas a chance to get amongst the online action and share their stories, adding their voices to the cacophony of bloggers and vloggers and all the other loggers. There are a lot of voices out there, so one of the challenging parts of the job is making sure the Big Stories voices are heard. This year we’ve tried to increase our social media presence so that more people know about the project and can enjoy the fantastic stories we’ve collected. We’ve been posting more on Facebook, tried our hand at Twitter, we got ourselves a Google Plus page, we’ve shared a few happy snaps on Instagram (@bigstoriessmalltowns), heck we’ve even got a Pinterest (but then spent too much time looking at cake decorating ideas and wedding dresses, so we haven’t given it a whole lot of love lately).
And of course, we have (had?) a YouTube account. But in a cautionary tale, warning against any kind of Spring Cleaning (’cause who doesn’t like hoarding, right?), a few old email accounts were deleted and our YouTube account went down the plughole with it. Perhaps more of a cautionary tale about maintaining good records so that you can keep track of all the flaming knives of social media that you’re trying to juggle, and ensuring that the accounts are attached to the main admin account, rather than anyone’s personal account (there’s a #hottip for any #social #media #masters out there).
But not to worry, we’ve been working hard and testing our upload speed over the past few weeks to get the channel back up and running. It’s a little rough at the moment, but you can check it out here (all our new content will be going up soon, so feel free to subscribe to be the first to see all the Cowra, Coober Pedy and Beaudesert content). In a way, this little inconvenience was a blessing in disguise: sitting down to re-write the the descriptions for each video (here’s another #hottip: keep a copy of all video descriptions in a word document, then if the videos get deleted, you can just copy and paste!) we rediscovered so many wonderful people and incredible stories that we had all but forgotten about. Like this one and this one and this one (actually, that last one is one of our all time favourites, we just wanted to share it again).
It was a bit stressful during those weeks, thinking that people might have been trying to access the videos via YouTube but were unable to because of an admin error. We rushed to get the channel working again, but it proves that often technology isn’t as reliable as we would like it to be. Luckily we don’t have to rely on technology to get our fix of big stories. Big Stories isn’t about finding extraordinary stories, we don’t have any kind of radar or tracking equipment that tells us where to go to find these incredible people. We just pick a town, and the stories just happen to be there, because big stories are everywhere. Incredible people are everywhere. If our channel, or our website, or (god forbid!) our blog goes down, and you’re itching for your fix, don’t panic, just go outside, talk to a neighbour, ask your parents. Big Stories are everywhere, you just have to find them.
Since our technology has already had its holiday for the year, we’re looking forward to going on ours. We wish everyone a good summer, a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful 2015. We’ve got big plans for next year, so watch this space.
If you want to be a part of our big year, don’t hesitate to contact us via any of our social media pages or good old fashioned email: firstname.lastname@example.org